Designing for Rituals (08-21-20)

A new article, available free at the web address noted below, indicates the value of rituals in our lives and confirms that design should support ritual behavior.  Gupta reports that“in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, people are being forced to renegotiate rituals large and small. . . . Even when rituals can be tweaked to fit the moment, such as virtual religious services or car parades in place of graduation ceremonies, the experiences don’t carry the same emotional heft as the real thing. That’s because the immutability of rituals — their fixed and often repetitive nature — is core to their definition. . . . So too is the symbolic meaning people attach to behaviors; doing the ritual ‘right’ can matter more than the outcome. . . . rituals help with emotional regulation, particularly during periods of uncertainty, when control over events is not within reach. Rituals also foster social cohesion. Engaging in rituals, in other words, could really help people and societies navigate this new and fraught global landscape.”

Sujata Gupta. 2020.  “Why Do We Miss the Rituals Put On Hold by the COVID-19 Pandemic?”  Science News,